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Sons In The Shadow: Surviving The Family Business As An SOB---Son Of The Boss Paperback – May 1, 2015

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sons in the Shadow is a wonderful book. I was particularly moved by the "Forbes and Fallout" and "Never Sell - Never?" chapters. I admire Park's honesty and bravery in putting all this down on paper. --P. J. O'Rourke, Author --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Comments from bestselling author P.J. O'Rourke:

Sons in the Shadow is a wonderful book. I was particularly moved by the "Forbes and Fallout" and "Never Sell - Never?" chapters. I admire Park's honesty and bravery in putting all this down on paper (and I loved naming the dog "Forbes"). Having grown up in a family business (albeit on a much smaller scale), I'm alive to the politics involved. My grandfather, J.J. O'Rourke, started O'Rourke Buick in Toldeo, Ohio and everyone in my enormous Irish family was involved. (My first job was there, of course.) I took my wife to meet my family and she said, afterward, "All anybody talks about is your Grandpa Jake - and he's been dead for 50 years." I told her, "They'll still be talking when he's been dead for 100." Sounds like the same will be true of the senior Roy Park.
I also want to thank the author for a thought I intend to drill in to my children: "God gave us a soul. Our duty is to give it meaning. He wants it back."
Congratulations on a splendid book - one that should be a text in every MBA program. Business is a lot more than a bunch of numbers. (As some business types on Wall Street have been finding out.) Everything in life is about people. We can finish our MBA studies or our Poly Sci studies or our J-School studies, or whatever, but we're never done with our study of people. And Park has written a great one. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 590 pages
  • Publisher: Elderberry Press (OR) (May 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934956473
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934956472
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,102,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J.S. Aldridge, MD on August 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Sons in The Shadow" is an in-depth review of a very difficult family business father/son relationship and of the advertising world. The book is well written in a journalistic style so that what could be rather boring detail becomes to a non-business person an educational adventure into the business world, and adds to knowledge of life in general. Covered in the book are family and people I have known over the years, who will now be appreciated in new ways because of the story of their difficult endeavors. It was great to reread the Seventeen Magazine article "Why I Busted College" - a true Roy Park, Jr. effort, making the most out of lemons.
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I knew of the legendary Roy H. Park from his friend and my boss, George G. Raymond, Jr., of the Raymond Corporation in Greene, New York. They were highly regarded successful and generous upstate New York family business leaders and friends, Roy serving on George's corporate board - a relationship that came about from their strong Cornell connections.

When I recently came across Roy H. Park Jr.'s book, Sons in the Shadow, in the New York Family Business Center Library, I was very curious about reading it and for good reason. As a lifelong student and professor of "Family Business" in upstate New York, the Park Family Business Story is one that will always be prominent and mythical to me.

I thank Roy for writing and sharing the Park story in detail and with such humility. As a professor, I am grateful for this book, which will help
open the eyes of young family business successors and allow them to carefully consider what they may face, allowing them to imagine and plan the legacies they will leave.

There are a number of lessons to be learned from the book related to business strategy, M & A, execution and discipline, innovation and critical
family dynamics.

Roy's account of his experience offers family business owners the perspective to see that they are not the only ones who have seemingly
insurmountable difficulties working with their parents. Perhaps of most significance is the opportunity Roy offers us to consider something that Samuel S. Johnson, another Cornelian said near the end of his life, "As I thought about what my father had done, and then thinking also about the future, I came to the conclusion that as a son I shouldn't worry too much about whether I have lived up to the expectations of my father...
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By John P. Siegfried on April 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What makes a great book? More than entertainment, it must contain something that we can take to heart; to recognize enough of ourselves to allow us to see the world more clearly. "Sons in the Shadow" is such a book.

I must commend the author for honestly portraying an intimate subject. Park and his father both had very successful, but very different business careers. In Park's father's drive to success, he overcame many obstacles through his enormous strength of will. His son benefitted from his father's success and built upon it in his own way. So much for the well-related facts...

But primarily, the book spoke to me because of its universality. Moreover, I believe Park's book will broadly appeal to the fathers and sons of our generation. While I'm not sure how much has been written about the sociological and psychological legacy that our generation received from our fathers, I believe that history will remark it as unique.

(As in Park's case, there were affinity barriers between my father and myself that were never completely overcome.) I think it is of great significance that the successful sons of our generation were able to learn to treat their children better than their fathers treated them. In fairness, perhaps the lack of love we experienced could be attributed to the fact that our fathers, the men who survived two great wars and an economic depression, coped by use of some sort of a `generational autopilot'.

In my case I had no real feelings toward my father until my children became old enough to teach me that I must treat them differently than my father treated me. At that point, I reached out to my father, reversing the relationship; the son becoming the father. In "Sons in the Shadow", Park did the same thing.
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By Hoyle S. Broome Jr. on November 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
SONS IN THE SHADOW

I enjoyed reading Roy Park, Jr.'s well researched, and annotated written account of his father's business history and the evolving personal relationship between the two of them. I relived a good deal of personal history since I knew most of the "players" within the account.

My own tenure with Park Communications was contemperaneous with the book's time line; and as Roy Park's nephew and employee (I began my employment with Roy in 1970 and worked for him until his death in 1993), I relived many of my own experiences with Roy.

I knew well Roy's distaste for nepotism, and I worked hard throughout my tenure to dissuade my peers and employees from the notion I received "special treatment", but to be honest that was not too difficult to do with those who knew Roy and his personality.

Roy had no problem taking any of his manager's "to the woodshed" if numbers didn't reconcile or there was a hint of exaggeration in a management presentation. Tenure did not eliminate the potential for a "woodshed moment", but it usually lessened the severity of the confrontation.

In what was probably the cruelest of rituals, the tenured managers were always waiting for a newly hired station head to experience his first management meeting and the "gauntlet" first hand. Any mathematical error or laissez faire attitude toward integrity in selling style exhibited by the new manager, resulted in the old guard giving an out of sight "thumbs down" under the table. This often proved prophetic, since the erring manager would often be gone within a month or two.

Families are complicated and Southern families are more complicated than others.
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Sons In The Shadow: Surviving The Family Business As An SOB---Son Of The Boss
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